I booked this hotel through Venere.com due to its location, price ( I paid £96.52 (114 Euros/$148) for 3 nights single room with private bathroom) and reviews, and it is now one of my favourite hotels! This 19 roomed Family run hotel deserves more than its 2 star rating.
On arrival, I climbed the two flights of stairs to the Reception on the first floor, where I was welcomed by a man (who I think might have been the manager) and a young woman who checked me in, gave me a map and showed me the main sights and how to get to them and some 'off the beaten tracks ' places to visit including the place to see the best view of Florence at Piazzalle Michelangielo I queried this because of the cloud over Florence, but was pleased for the information.
I was asked if I had a laptop- for free WIFI - I had my I-Phone, and was given the password etc for the duration of my stay. (I had to log in each time, but it wasn't a problem)
The man whisked my case to my room, while I took the lift to the 3rd floor and my room 33. Exiting the lift I was aware of a lovely perfumed aroma- Well Florence is famed for its perfume!
(Ensure you close the doors on exiting)
Opening the door, I was pleased to find a warm and cosy room and was surprised to find two windows- These were covered by a solid wooden 'shutter' double glazed window and a slatted green wooden shutter. Opening the first window-I found a view of the Medici Chapels (nearly within touching distance) and the second window had views over the roof tops of the Duomo!
This corner room was right up my street!
I had a double (for single use) en-suite room and 'With Views' for £33.87 (39.73 Euros/$52) per night . I did request a room with a view when I booked, but this isn't guaranteed. As I'm used to being given a single room with a view over the dustbins etc. I wasn't expecting much-So I was Very Happy to get this room (I've since checked reviews and saw someone complained about this room on TripAdviser)!!!
Continental Breakfast is 5 Euros extra (I had this on my last day and it was quite good value) -Juice, Cappuccino (or milk, Cafe Espresso, Cafe Americana,Tea or Hot Chocolate), fruit, cornflakes, croissants, cakes and Nutella/Jams/Honey etc. You can book this the night before at Reception.
07.30 - 09.30 (10.00 if you negotiate with the staff)
There are many cafes nearby if you don't book breakfast to grab a coffee and pastry - (my favourite was Le Capelle Medicee, which is just opposite the Medici Chapels-Lovely staff and free WIFI) I'll add tip for this place later)
So, Warm room-Double bed (two singles joined) 2 firm pillows-(Hoorah! - I usually find pillows in hotels are too thin) Wardrobe with plenty of coat hangers, dressing table, plenty of mirrors (with lights), bedside tables, TV (with remote-plenty of channels including CNN as the English speaking channel) Arm chair and dressing table chair, Air-Con.
Bathroom-quite small but OK- WC, bidet, wash basin, shower (my only criticism was that it wasn't very powerful ) Fluffy towels (changed on alternative days ) Complimentary soap and shower cream-just on the first day. Hairdryer-One of those concertina tubes with 'telephone hand-piece' ends-with very little power-So perhaps best to bring your own, especially if you have long hair or need to 'Blow-Dry' into a style. Luckily I'm a Wash and Go type!
The hotel is at a 'busy pedestrian crossroads' but I wasn't disturbed by any noise - I guess in Summer, it might be different if the windows are left open - but there is air con, so this might not be a problem.
You need to leave your key at reception when leaving the hotel at any time-even if just nipping downstairs for a ciggie etc!
Tourist info stuff at reception, and in the small lounge off Reception.(magazines and comfy sofas too)
When I was checking out, I was informed that I could leave my luggage until 18.00 hours and was shown the toilet that I could use when I collected my case.
Cards accepted, but cash is preferred for paying your bill.
When I returned to collect my case on my last day, I was offered the use of the toilet, and the manager went to check it out first! It smelt lovely, as he'd sprayed an air freshener around!
They also ensured that I had my passport before I left and asked If I had the train time-table (I already had my return ticket)
Hotel closed 0200-0600 hours
Check in from 1400
Check out 11.00
The website and the instructions I got from Venere just stated 6 minutes from the train Station-I called at the TI office opposite the station (To the right of the station, look for the church tower, and follow your eye down and you'll spot the TI office) and was given a map and directions.
From the front of the Station - head into Piazza Dell 'Unita Italiana and to the left side cross over and find Via Sant Antonino. Head up here, then take the 2nd Right into Faenzo - walk to the end and You'll find the hotel at the end on the right hand side.
Faenza is split into 2 halves - Divided by San Antonio-I just spotted the Faenzo sign and headed the wrong way!
For car drivers check the Hotels web site for instructions re parking and ZTL (Restricted road)
I'd certainly return here if visiting Florence again, and would recommend it to anyone wanting cheaper accommodation, without missing out on comfort and a personal service.
Unique Quality: Friendly, helpful staff. On arrival, I was shown the main attractions on a map, but also advised to see the Museum Bargello for its reconstruction of a Florentine House, and Piazzale Michelangiolo for the views.
A few days later one of the staff informed me that the Uffizi was open that day- I explained that I preferred to see the 'off the beaten track places' and just wander around- he immediately responded that I must look at the many court yards- if I saw a gate or door open, I must go in and look at the hidden Courtyard!
On my first day, I'd purchased a good bottle of wine from one of the many excellent nearby wine merchants, to enjoy a night cap, but I'd forgotten to pack my cork-screw. The young woman on reception found one, plus a lovely large wine glass and opened my bottle - she also said if I needed any cutlery etc, just to ask
Great location -50 metres from Medici Chapels and 100 metres to San Lorenzo Markets
4 Minutes to Duomo
6 Minutes to S M Novella Train Station
12 minutes to Fortezza da Basso
9 minutes to Piazza Signoría
10 minutes to Uffizi Gallery
10 minutes to Ponte Vecchio
Directions: From the front of the Station head into Piazza Dell 'Unita Italiana. To the left side cross over to Via Sant Antonino. Head up here, then take the 2nd Right into Faenzo - walk to the end and You'll find the hotel at the end on the right hand side.